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Colo. Investigates Medical Marijuana Shops, Including Nine in Boulder County

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Nine Boulder County medical marijuana businesses are among more than 90 in the state that are under investigation for failing to certify that they are growing at least 70 percent of the marijuana they sell.

Some of the dispensary owners say they met the requirement long before the law mandated it, but they either didn't realize they needed to file paperwork or pushed for explanations about what, exactly, the rule meant rather than file potentially false documents.

It's not clear whether all of the dispensaries are still in business. Working phone numbers could not be found for several of them.

The nine businesses are: Bliss Wellness Center, Bushes, Colorado Natural Care, Evolution Medicine Services, The Dandelion and The Hill Cannabis Club, all in Boulder, as well as Lyons Finest Confidential Care, Snowshine in Ward and 420 Highways in Lafayette.

State law requires that all existing dispensaries certify that they were growing at least 70 percent of the marijuana they sell by Sept. 1.

Of 818 businesses that applied for state licenses, 91 didn't file the appropriate paperwork showing they met the 70 percent requirement -- basically, checking a box and signing in front of a notary.

In December, they were sent letters of "notice of proposed denial," meaning the state would not issue those businesses a license.

Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait said every business has the opportunity to correct the record, but she cannot comment on ongoing investigations.

Dispensary owners said they've been told they'll have to pay fines of up to $10,000 for missing the deadline but will be able to stay in business if they are in compliance.

Veronica Carpio, owner of 420 Highways, says she filed her paperwork on time but wrote in questions about the rules. She couldn't get a clear answer on how the 70 percent was defined. Was it 70 percent of what she sold in a year? In a month? How was she supposed to account for walk-in clients?

Carpio said she didn't want to sign her name to a document she didn't understand. Now, she feels like she's being punished for being honest.

Daniel Ballard, whose Lyons Finest Confidential Care was among those sent letters of proposed denial, said he simply didn't realize he needed to file a document. He thought an inspector would stop in, and he was prepared to show them he met the requirement.

Similarly, Brandon Ralph of Evolution Medicine Services in north Boulder said that, as a one-man operation, he didn't keep up on all the new rules and let the deadline pass. He has no problem showing he's growing his own marijuana, but he doesn't like how the rule is being enforced.

"It's sad that our tax dollars are used to give people a hard time over one sheet of paper with two boxes to check," he said. "But I'm not too worried about it."

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: dailycamera.com
Author: Erica Meltzer
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Media News group
Website: Colo. investigates medical marijuana shops, including nine in Boulder County
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